Skip to main content
Topic: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station (Read 403 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station


>> Click For Full Resolution

[ Lt. ThanIda zh'Wann | Cargo Hold | The Apache | Approach Vector: Azurite Station ]
Attn: 1) @Ellen Fitz 2) @BipSpoon 3) @UltimaImperatrixia 4) @Brutus 5) @Stegro88 
While she would never show it, Deputy zh'Wann was ill at ease, even if she had volunteered for this away-mission.

The existence of the research facility where the Niga virus was developed had come to the Theurgy crew's attention. Located in the farthest outskirt of Federation space, the Voice of the Savi had agreed to take the Apache and an away team there. So, at 1944 hrs the day after the Battle of the Houses, they left the Theurgy behind and crossed hundreds of light years aboard the Erudite. It had just taken the Savi dreadnought an hour, and upon arrival at the coordinates, the Erudite's sensor array had easily located the asteroid that hid the top secret Starfleet research station. What Ida and the rest of the team had thought would take hours of searching with the Apache hadn't taken more than a couple of minutes. So, Commander Cross had given the order, and the Apache launched from the Erudite's aerodrome, heading straight for Azurite Station.

Their orders from Captain Ives were simple. Stop another outbreak by any means necessary, all specimens of the fora to be destroyed. The reason why they didn't destroy the base outright was that there were more than likely innocent personnel on the station, and they needed to know if any samples of the flora had been shipped somewhere. They knew that the Niga virus had been developed inside the facility by the late Zephyr Praise, but her research had been taken over by her superiors after she'd been told to step away from her tests. Unbeknownst to Praise, the lead researchers had continued the experiments, and it was when she'd found the remains of victims that she had fled from the station and eventually ended up on the Theurgy.

Ida had heard the recording of Praise's interrogation. The bodies she'd found... had been ruptured from within, ejecting seed pods that made the Niga flora spread, so that it could pollinate more victims - luring them close by a sweet scent of overpowering aphrodisiacal effects. The pollen, which was exuded from the skin of the victims after the initial pollination, caused an uninhibited frenzy to procreate... spreading the pollination further. It drove the victims mad. Crazed for more and bent on making as many as possible feel the same euphoria that they did... until they all died. Ida supposed it was a small blessing that no victims on the Theurgy ever had to suffer that fate.

Indeed, Ida knew of these things far too well, since she had been the first victim aboard the Theurgy when they encountered the flora in the Mahéwa System, almost four months ago. That was the reason she was ill at ease, frowning as she checked the energy level on her phaser rifle- tuning its settings to her preferences. Dreams of the Niga Incident on the ship still came to her every other night, remembering herself being caught in the flora down on that planet - pollinated by its vines. After that, memories were scant, since the antidote also attacked memory engrams formed whilst you were infected, which was a blessing for many of the victims of that incident. Images of the events leading up to the Relativity saving them all were still there for Ida, mere flashes of actions she'd committed, but naught more. She lived with the shame still, having brought that contagion aboard, even if she was just another victim. She had merely been the first.

Standing in the cargo hold of the Reman Hawk-class shuttle, Ida had donned a brand new exosuit since her old one had been beyond repair after fighting that Infested Klingon at Praxis the day before. She was still aching in some places after the ordeal, yet Medical had cleared her for duty, largely so because of her Andorian endoskeleton and the protection she had from blunt force trauma. Her helmet rested on the deck, and she had a pulse phase pistol at her hip. She was as ready as she could be, but even when in a hardshell suit and armed... the prospect of encountering that flora anew had her on edge.

Besides standard Type 2 phasers, the non-armoured, non-combat personnel in the cargo hold had been given TR-120 rifles, and instead of the magnetic pulse rounds they had used at Starbase 84, the weapons were loaded with tranquiliser vials, all filled with the antidote that Doctor Nicander had developed during the Niga Incident. They did not know what to expect inside Azurite Station, but given their experiences with the contagion, they were not going to take any chances.

[This is Lieutenant Conway on the bridge, we're approaching the station. Sensor readouts are getting more and more jammed the closer we get, but we haven't picked up any weapon signatures. By the looks of it, the Black Opal was far more fortified than this facility is, likely because the Opal also served as a weapons depot. I am not detecting any comms traffic, nor any armament on the asteroid surface, the line of defence likely being inside the landing bay. We're cloaked, so I would say we can count on this having the element of surprise on our side. Problem is, the bay doors are closed. Looking at it though, there... might actually be a smaller airlock there as well, at the edge of the bay doors. Orders, Commander?]

Ida looked towards Commander Cross, whom was also present in the cargo hold along with the rest of the away team. As Second Officer and Chief Tactical Officer on the Theurgy, he was in command, and since Ida had experience taking his orders from the day before - at Praxis - Ida was confident the unorthodox Vulcan knew what he was about. "Sir, I reckon we have to decide if we knock on the door politely, blast it open, or... if one or two of us in exosuits try to gain access through the airlock and open the bay doors from inside so that the Apache can land."

With the airlock right behind her, and Lieutenant Valyn Amarik also having the same gear she had, Ida was ready if Cross saw her suggestion prudent. He might have better ideas, so Ida bid her time glancing towards a few others in the cargo hold. Ensign Cir'Cie was there, another victim from the Niga Incident, and also the Theurgy's best botanical scientist. Lieutenant Morali was also there, him having been instrumental in finding the Theurgy in the timestream when he'd served on the Relativity and averting the Niga outbreak aboard. Regardless of how much he could remember of all that, Ida found his presence reassuring for some reason. At least he, if anyone, knew the stakes if there was a galaxy-wide outbreak of the virus, him having witnessed it first hand. That was, if he was allowed to remember that? Ida couldn't imagine what it had to be like, stripped of memories... but she supposed it was like what the Niga antidote had done to her.

There were others, twenty souls in total, but Ida's attention returned to Cross when he spoke.

OOC: This is the starter for Resident Niga: Azurite Station, a little adventure set in the beginning of Interregnum 01-02. The posting order, set for the writers I know will be participating, is the following: 1) @Ellen Fitz , with Cross giving orders as you see fit, a pep-talk, or whatever. Check the bio of Zephyr Praise for more intel and fodder, with names and such, if you want to. I noticed the head honcho of the station was named Theodore Cartwright (Manipulated?/Infested?), and that there were Hermat serving on the Station. Have fun! 2) BipSpoon, in the chance of the order for a spacewalk and infiltration to be made, please push that along all the way to getting that airlock next to the bay doors open manually? 3) @UltimaImperatrixia , offering advise on the virus, or just absorbing the moment? Something Zephyr has told her before she died? Whatever you see fit! 4) @Brutus , in addition to whatever you seem fit for Morali's introduction in the mission, could you please add how Conway reports that the bay doors open from the bridge, it either being Ida & Valyn having been ordered to get inside via the airlock... and if not, the bay doors open on their own, reason to be determined. 5) @Stegro88 , could you have Samala land inside the bay with the Apache, besides your character intro? There might be new writers jumping on as well, but unless one of them post after @Stegro88 , I can go next with Ida and establish the situation inside the bay. Hope that works for everyone!!

Please note that the Apache spent 1 hour aboard the Erudite (between 1940 hrs and 2040 hrs), whilst the Savi dreadnought gave them a lift. That means there is ample opportunity to use that hour of travel time for one-on-one Supplemental threads, set prior to the arrival! :)

Participating characters so far:

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Cargo Hold | The Apache | Approach Vector: Azurite Station ]

Attn: 1) @Auctor Lucan 2) @BipSpoon  3) @UltimaImperatrixia  4) @Brutus  5) @Stegro88 

Safely tucked away in the Erudite for their journey to the station, Cross spent that hour of commute debriefing with Deputy zh'Wann over the events on Praxis. While he’d spent most of the morning watching the video feeds on their helmets and had read the reports written by zh’Wann and the others, Cross still wanted to hear from the woman herself what it had been like to face an Infested. They had every reason to believe that Azurite Station had been commissioned under orders from the Infested, given the timing of its foundation and clandestine operations since then, and they had every reason to believe Infested were still onboard the station. He wanted all the insight possible to ponder as he pieced that together with what he knew of Zephyr Praise’s work.

Using Hermat DNA and the specimens of Trictorcanis Consumae, she’d created formula ZCP-1033588b. Lauded at first as a breakthrough in medical treatment, the experiment was later shut down because of adverse effects—quite the understatement considering fucking seed pods would burst out of the patient’s bodies after forty-eight hours. When she’d discovered her work had been carried out without her knowledge and to a much “grander” scale of destruction and chaos, Zephyr downloaded the data regarding the new experiment and fled the station. Only the fucking Savi fucked with them again, and all that information was lost when they’d intercepted her shuttle. What they knew of the data and situation had come from an oral interrogation and the details that stood out to Cross as important to investigate were:

1. She’d found the “upgraded” experiment in the botanical containment area. It was likely that the experiment, or the virus in its original or potentially mutated form, was still aboard the station in this area.
2. Theodore Cartwright had recruited her, overseen her work, “halted” her work, and was aboard the station even after she left. He could either be Infested or manipulated by the Infested and could offer names and ranks of others involved.
3. Hermat’s had been onboard at the time of her work and had contributed much via their DNA. If they could get more Hermat DNA samples, perhaps even a defector Hermat recruited (or kidnapped) to come back to Theurgy with them, they could synthesize more types of antidotes or perhaps even a vaccination.

Cross continued to mull over the parameters of Ives’ orders as they transferred to the Apache and made their final cloaked approach to Azurite Station. The captain had all but cited Article 14 to him when he gave Cross and the others carte blanche on how they were to stop another outbreak, and no doubt their efforts would include “extraordinary measures” as such missions often required. Of course, infiltrate, investigate, and then destroy was the most prudent order of business. As much as his fingers itched to “pull the trigger” and be done with this station, its very existence a violation of the ideals of the Federation he signed on to protect, Cross refrained. There would be time enough for impressive explosions, as he had every intention of ensuring this station’s destruction before returning to the Theurgy.

Standing in the cargo hold of the Apache, Cross looked at the rest of his away team. Only Deputy zh’Wann and Lieutenant Amarik had exosuits as was fitting their position as lead security detail on this mission. A few other security members were equally armed with Type-3 phaser rifles, readying themselves in the cargo hold alongside them. Lieutenant Morali and Ensign Cir’Cie were leading out in science and had a few other science department members armed the same as himself with Type-2 phasers and TR-120 rifles. Crewman Samala and Lieutenant Conway were still on the bridge presently, but Cross knew their collective expertise in CONN and ops would prove vital before this was over. He’d already given the order for all members of the away team to carry charges with them, as the station’s destruction was part of their mission. The question was now, what order of business came first once they were inside?

At Conway’s alert, Cross nodded to his team for a final equipment check, remaining silent as Deputy zh’Wann offered her feedback. He remembered his mentor, Duncan MacDonald, teaching him various idioms when they first arrived in Scotland after his "liberation," and one came to mind now: Only a fool assumes a flower is without defense.

“Let’s see if we can ease open the bay doors from the inside. Deputy zh’Wann and Lieutenant Amarik make it look like a malfunction. Conway, keep an eye out for any incoming traffic and alert us if you see those doors opening. If we can scoot inside with another ship as a hat without prying our way, all the better.” Studying his team again and keeping the channel open, Cross continued. “The prevention of the hostile takeover of the Federation by the Infested takes precedence over all else, including our own personal wellbeing. They have likely mutated virus samples on this station. It is our job to find that out, collect it if it's there, and destroy the station once we have the samples. The needs of many in the future outweigh the needs of the few in the now, and whatever happens to us, we need to ensure that this virus is eradicated once and for all.”

Cross let his words settle briefly, then laid out the order of business as he saw it.

“Once we’re inside, Lieutenant Morali, Crewman Samala, and I will see about hacking a console or two and downloading the shipping, visitation, and inspection logs while pulling up all data possible on formula ZCP-1033588b. We’ll find a deck plan to the botanical containment area to procure samples of the virus and any mutations that may have been made since Praise left. Ensign Cir’Cie, you lead in that department. While downloading the logs, we will simulate a biocontainment breach to start a station-wide evacuation. Some of our own tender loving care can assist the believability of this simulated containment breach, and I leave that in your care, Deputy zh’Wann. If we can get Hermat DNA samples or specimens of Trictorcanis Consumae, or even nab Theodore Cartwright himself in the process, all the better, though make the destruction of this station your priority, Lieutenant Amarik. Keep your tricorders running to map the station, and Lieutenant Conway here will keep a lock on your comm signal for evac purposes. Our charges are set to blow after twenty minutes, so place them in key areas as you make your sweep, and we have until the clock stops ticking to get the hell out of there. Shoot first, stun setting, and ask questions later. If they don’t go down on stun, kill the bastards. No one goes at this alone, groups of three minimum.” Tightening his holster, Cross took the time to look each team member in the face before adding, “Questions?”
Lieutenant Enyd Isolde Madsen, Assistant Chief Diplomatic Officer

Lieutenant Commander Cross, Chief Tactical Officer

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #2
[ Lieutenant Valyn Amarik | Cargo Hold | The Apache | Approach Vector: Azurite Station ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Ellen Fitz @UltimaImperatrixia @Brutus @Stegro88 [Show/Hide]
While Valyn was no stranger to a fight, nearly every waking moment she’d spent with the Theurgy since her reassignment had been spent either preparing for or taking part in battle. This mission was an entirely different animal. She’d been briefed on the virus, but of course hadn’t experienced it first hand. Everything she’d read though, made it sound like something from a nightmare.

On their final approach, Valyn made her way towards a viewport, attempting to get a better look at the hulking asteroid that they approached. Everything felt tense. Even more so than the battle, just a day past. She’d been armed with another exosuit, similar to the one she’d worn to rescue Fisher. A rifle was strapped to her side, and like always, she’d stowed her old Tal Shiar knife at her hip. She was equipped for war, from head to toe. Every fiber of her resonated with the apprehension that filled her before every mission. It wasn’t fear, but she’d have been a fool to not at least feel something about what was to come. She quickly and slyly glanced around the dark hold. Most of them were faces she was unfamiliar with. Practically all of them were, in truth. She studied the features of each of them, trying to understand just how they felt at that moment. The harsh reality was, that the chances of each of them returning, and returning whole, were quite slim.

Everything about the Niga virus made her natural instincts flare up, every nerve in her body screaming ‘danger’. The very thought and idea of some alien spore filling the bodies and psyche of sentient life, driving them to madness, then devouring them from within? That idea chilled her to the bone. She was no stranger to violence and brutality. She was no stranger to utilizing her own fear and emotions for her own gain. What felt so different was that something like Niga could destroy an Empire, root and stem. Be it Klingon, Romulan, Federation, Cardassian, even Dominion, Niga would tear through it like an uncontrolled flame through a summer brush. They had to destroy it first. Root and stem. She was unconcerned with what actions it cost to destroy it, as sick as it made her. Destroying Niga, at all costs, was for the greater good.

After a final glance at their approach, she made her way back to her seat, checking her gear one final time, centering herself. It was practically a ritual. She would sit in silence, check her gear, and just...wait. The sounds and feelings around her vanished into the abyss. Her senses became sharper, honed to precisely what she wanted them to be through a lifetime of practice.

She turned her rifle in her hands, left to right, before settling on the top readout, checking the fire settings and setting it to maximum stun. If there were innocents aboard, she didn’t intend on just blasting them away. Not unless she had no other option. Any other option. Perhaps in her previous life she may have made a different choice. No longer though. Their mission was to destroy the pathogen. She wasn’t here as a sharpened instrument of death, though the skills couldn’t hurt. After all, she’d joined Theurgy to save people. Not simply kill at the whim of another. She’d left that behind.

Besides the Niga virus and the apprehension that facing it brought, being aboard a Reman ship was in itself...haunting. It was a ghastly reminder of the events that had put her there in the first place. The last time she’d even been close to one had been the Dominion War. At the time she wasn’t a Starfleet Lieutenant, she had been a Tal Shiar Colonel. Her relationship with her Reman subordinates had ended with betrayal and bloodshed, and the last time she’d been around Remans at all had been the Bassen Rift. Another macabre event that had seared potent, vicious memories into her head.

She reached under her seat to pull out a small hard-shell case and popped the lid, revealing a handful of Starfleet issue smoke grenades. She never knew when some extra cover may come in handy. However, a thought came across her as she picked the first one up. She gave the device a slight shake and looked at the rest of her crewmates. “Y’know, wouldn’t be a bad idea to try and get that antidote into these things.” She shrugged, looked around the party and stowed the grenade at the proper spot on her chest. She took one more, then pushed the box forward, towards Ida, offering the remainder to her. The idea itself, she thought, had merit. However there were obvious flaws. The antidote was carried through blood. It would need adjustment to work through the air.

Her head dipped to the side as she heard the voice of Lieutenant Conway break the startlingly quiet hum of the engine. Hazel orbs jumped to Cross, whom she had absolutely no experience with. Valyn however wasn’t one to keep hush, even to those she didn’t know. Blind loyalty had gotten her very little in the past, and she’d learned her lesson from maintaining utter silence to ensure the status quo of peaceful command,  “I’m partial to keeping things quiet as long as we can.” She gave him a quick glance, studying his reaction, “Not to say I ain’t a fan of a very bright and destructive explosions but whoever’s on there might notice a big boom.” She shrugged once and checked her gear one final time. It was almost neurotic. If anything failed on the operation, it certainly wouldn’t be her equipment. She knew that ‘by any means’ typically meant it was expected that the team would have to come up with some out of the box solutions, and utilize them. It was almost as if the phrase was the kiss of death that eventually, things would go sideways.

She didn’t need to be told twice when she got the order. She stood up and tapped the side of her head, the seal of her helmet securing itself with a soft hiss as she stowed her rifle. She didn’t move out just yet though, and instead listened to the rest of his speech. Every word was watched. Every word was a part of her perception of the commander of the mission, and she appeared to be content. On her mind though, the gears were already turning about the door. A malfunction would be easy enough to produce. A pulled wire, a blunt trauma to a conduit, hell even a squirrely encryption would do the job. Getting in was the easy part though. Mutated samples. Destruction of the station. Each task added further complication and difficulty to the job whose difficulty already seemed close to impossible. They didn’t have a choice though, they would have to achieve the impossible.

She perked up some though. Blowing up the station was her job. Cross had just made her day. “Yes, sir.” She gave him a nod, grabbed the package of charges and slung it over her back, keeping it low profile enough that it wouldn’t be a hindrance to her movement. The sweep would have to be slick, secure, and accurate if they were to succeed in all their tasks. She looked over the group once and cleared her throat. “Who’s goin’ where? I reckon we should have one security team member with each team, unless you want us to do otherwise.” She glanced at Ida, then back at Cross. Once sorted however, she’d start towards the airlock, ready to begin the float to the station door.

She’d done plenty of walks in the stars, but rarely under such circumstances. She stood at the door, and waited for Ida to join, ready to go with her to the opposite airlock against the station. She certainly had no intention or desire to start off alone.

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #3
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Cargo Hold | The Apache | Approach Vector: Azurite Station ]

"Questions?" was the question she heard come from Lt.Cmdr Cross. And in hearing this she couldn't help but realize that ever since that fateful day in the Mahéwa System, questions was all she really ever had. From questioning why she was one of the ones to be infected by it first, questions on how things might have turned out differently for her if she had been one of the select few who had been able to avoid the terrible yet oh so delightful effects of the plant's immense power of allure and rewards of tantalizing pleasure; the kind most erotic hedonists on places like Risa or Orion could only dream of. Even though she didn't directly possesses any of the memories from the incident due to the aftermath of what happened all those months ago - the psychological imprints upon her Vulcan mind had taken on physical traits on their own - and with those, even more questions had plagued the young Botanist, in particularly with regrds to her own self-identity.

Did she want to conform to the rules of Starfleet anymore, when something so simple could demonstrate the ability to brush protocol, morale and ethics aside? Did she want to continue following the ways of Surak; to maintain her intellectual discipline and her emotional self-control? Perhaps most importantly; Did she want the Niga to be destroyed? That sweet yet devastating plant that had unlocked a part of her she had no idea that existed. In some ways she felt cheated that she could not remember what had exactly happened, it must have been a powerful and enthralling experience to have left an mnemonic impression on her like this.

Meetings with Counselor's Hathev and Stellan had helped her keep true to the mission goal, to stop her mind from wandering astray too far or simply choosing to bed as many members of the Theurgy as possible. Duty, Routine, Order - those were other things that had managed to keep her going through all of it. Of course; the fact that the Niga killed any target it gave its final gifts too was enough incentive to destroy the plant altogether. No; she had too, it needed to be done. And with the research that Zephyr had left within her stead, Cir'Cie fully intended to aid the task group she had been assigned too with this goal.

"Actually, Sir," Cir'Cie would calmly announce towards Cross, stepping forward and taking out a small medical box made of a plastoid alloy designed to repel bacteria and other pathogens. It has a small steel cylindrical lock which she clicks open to let the small unit open. Inside are six Hypo Sprays. "All of us are mentally conditioned to resist the Niga and are fully aware of the consequences should we fail to ignore our base instincts. However; in my time within the Hydroponic Labs, I have...managed to concoct a strong libido-inhibitor that should buy us some time should we come into contact with the plant; be it physically or any other variant it may now be found in."

Taking one of the Hypo Sprays out from the small container, she would look over it intently and then explain. "Dr. Nicander's discovery with how the Niga Virus propagates within a victim gave me the neccessary knowledge needed to synthesize the chemical compound within these units. I will not go into too many details about exactly what chemicals from which sources are being used. Simply put; these Hypo Sprays will severely reduce your body's natural capability to sustain their sexual functions at present. The result being that should any of us become infected, the compound will buy you some time to hold onto your sanity... I haven't of course been able to experiment with this compound to know how effective it will be, but with the level of hormone suppression it offers, I would estimate you'll have an extra three or so minutes before sexual instincts awaken fully...give or take."

She takes the Hypospray within her hand and very reluctantly injects the substance into her neck, allowing it to flow quickly and thoroughly into her bloodstream. She would then move to each member of the away team, so that they might take one Hypospray each - should they so desire to do so. "None of you are obligated to take the dose. And some side effects may occur such as headaches, irritability and potentially nausea. But I think that is a fair price to pay for a bit more of a chance against the Niga."

Deep down, Cir'Cie still harbored the residual desire to spread pleasure to others, a remnant of the plant's own instinct firmly nestled within her mind. She had her own ideas for work with the research Zephyr had created - but in her mind, the Niga was a failure, a messy and sloppy weapon that should never have been a weapon in the first place. With a final exhale through her nostrils; she readied her Type-2 Phaser and then awaited the order to move out.
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #4
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Cargo Hold | The Apache | Approach Vector: Azurite Station] ] Attn: @Stegro88 @Auctor Lucan @Ellen Fitz @BipSpoon @UltimaImperatrixia 

Sarresh had never before boarded the modified Reman runabout known as the Apache, and hadn't bothered to look up the history of the vehicle. He was aware that the pilot for the mission had been selected in part because she was one of the 'owners' of the ship. She was also a Starfleet enlisted crewman, which told Sarresh she got the commission because Ives wanted her ship. Or maybe she'd volunteered. It didn't matter all that much to the man, as he sat in the back hold of the ship, listening to Cross and Ida, drumming the fingers of his left hand against the top of the same side knee. Kaleidoscope eyes moved from one member of the mission to the next, mentally making a catalogue of what he recalled about each. 

An interesting exercise in its own right, as Sarresh had memories of some of these people with no actual frame of reference. The MEM procedure he'd undergone had some holes in it, thanks to a brief mental encounter he'd had just before things went to hell with Gorka. Minutes before he'd had a memory dump. Items that sat in his brain, unlocked now that should not have been. That he had spoken with only one other about, and they were not on the mission. Of those here, he trusted, well, Ida zh'Wann, he supposed. The two had seen quite a bit together at this point, and he'd had something of an unwelcome heart-to-heart with her in the wake of the Battle of the Apertures. 

It had been needed though, and he respected her for what she had done for him. Having read her file, he was both surprised, and not at all surprised, that she was on this mission. Given her intimate experience with the Niga Virus, and what it could do....well, it made sense to Sarresh. Same for Ens. Cir'Cie, though he knew her far less. The rest....the rest of the complement were all new to him. Oh, he'd seen Cross in passing plenty enough, an occasional briefing, plus the pre mission run through earlier, but beyond that, nothing. 

Running his hands over the strange weapon he had been assigned, Sarresh wondered just how much use the TR-120 would see on the station they had been sent to infiltrate. Sarresh had volunteered the moment he'd heard of the mission. Ever since his last conversation with his previous commanding officer, the time addled Captain Ducane (whom he still wanted to punch, even if he were starting to understand), Sarresh had been reviewing all the data that Theurgy had on the Niga virus. Since he had believed that his own actions, and those of the Relativity had dealt with the threat of the contamination, he was damned pissed to find out that was not the case. His professional prowess was on the line, as far as he was concerned. One of the few things he'd thought he'd accomplished in this backwater century had been largely for naught, and Sarresh had stated, quite bluntly, that he would be damned if anyone tried to keep him away from righting this particular galactic wrong. 

Which had been a waste of breath, as Ives had been planning on sending Sarresh anyways.

A rueful smile crossed his face, shoved away as the Ops officer sent notice back to the others that they were on final approach. Scratching at the light beard on his chin, Sarresh listened as Ida and Cross sussed out a plan. He cocked up an eyebrow at some of what Cross said, but when the man laid out a plan of action for once they were in the station proper, he saw nothing objectionable about the orders, and Sarresh nodded to indicate his understanding of the orders as given. Find a working console and drain the place of any and all useful information.  Capture Theodore Cartwright if given the chance. Get Hermat DNA and find a way to end the Niga threat once and for all. Reasonable enough. 

"No questions from me," Sarresh said when Cross looked his way. His face hardened slightly, and he was more than willing to add onto what Ens. Cir'Cie offered up. "If we encounter anyone infected, try not to let them touch you, let alone kiss you, or get frisky. I will shoot any of you that get in physical contact with an infected person," he hefted the tranquilizer filled TR-120, "And I expect any of the rest of you to do the same to me. Trust me. Having to cure half your ship...this is the smart move."

With no hesitation, he walked over to Cir'Cie, offering up his arm. Over the hiss of the hypospray, he quipped, "Not that I've had much use for a sex drive of late, but I presume this can be undone after the mission?" One he had an answer to that, he stepped back, remaining standing, with the TR-120 nestled into the crook of his arm. He looked like he was a natural with the weapon, something at odds for a science officer. Then again, Sarresh knew he was fully capable of being lethally dangerous. Even if he still didn't remember when he was trained in such matters and tactics, or whom had done the training. The muscle memory was there. The knowledge, without the memory of earning it, all at his fingertips. 

Nevertheless, he quietly watched the Vulcan Ensign move about the away team, one by one, injecting them with the sexual suppressant, keeping his own watch to see if anyone rejected the shot. He missed the departure of Ida and Valyn, but some short time later, when Conway's voice came over the comm's once more, Sarresh realized they must have been successful. 

[Lt. Commander Cross, this Lt. Conway. I've tracked Lt.'s zh'Wann and Amarik. They've made it through the airlock, sir]. Sarresh perked up, glancing off in the direction of the front of the ship, not really able to see anything but the bulkhead separating the cargo hold from the rest of the ship. Still, he could picture it, the two exo-suite clad officers drifting across the distance, silently approaching the station buried in the asteroid. Forcing their way through the airlock, using whatever codes they had on hand. The cycling of the atmosphere. Breaching the interior. He wondered, idly, if they would face resistance? Less idly, he asked himself if they had been inoculated before they left, and he was distrusted that he could not recall. 

Before he could broach that subject with Ens. Cir'Cie, Conway came back over the internal communications channel, piped down into the hold. [Sir, Lt. zh'Wann has sent the all clear. I see the doors opening now.]

Rising up a bit straighter, Sarresh quipped quietly, "Someone should check to see if the words "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" were engraved above the doors or not." He got a few stares at that, and shrugged. "What? It seemed appropriate." Apparently a reluctant ex-cult leader can't make a joke around here.

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #5
[ CM3 Samala | Bridge | The Apache | Approach Vector: Azurite Station | Federation Space ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Ellen Fitz @BipSpoon @UltimaImperatrixia @Brutus

“This had seemed a lot more fun when I was first asked.” Samala mused as she absently corrected for gravitational drift as the Apache ghosted near the concealed facility. She couldn’t even see it on her own sensors, instead having used the Savi ship’s bearings to find it. At least it wasn’t cloaked, she noted, being able to clearly see the large doors that no doubt led to a hanger. The problem being those doors were shut. She could have opened them, but she doubted that her method for entry would be appreciated.

And that was the crux of her issues now. Despite being the assigned pilot, more out of her familiarity with the Apache than anything else, she was the lowest ranked member of the 15-strong, group assembled for this mission. Which meant that she got to make no decisions, could do nothing without prior approval from a superior and had to wait, a lot. She hated waiting. Not that she wanted to do the wrong thing. What she had been told about the Niga virus was going to give her nightmares.

“There’s the signal,” Lieutenant Conway announced from the Operations and Engineering station behind her. “Once the doors open, land us inside please,” the woman requested before getting on the coms. [Sir, Lt. zh'Wann has sent the all clear. I see the doors opening now.]

“With pleasure,” Samala responded, happy to finally be doing something. Once the doors were open enough, she glided the Apache inside the bay, careful to avoid hitting anything before spinning around 180 degrees to face the opening again. Running through her shutdown procedure, Samala turned back to look at the Lieutenant. “I assume I am keeping us cloaked, right?”

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #6
[ Lt. ThanIda zh'Wann | Azurite Station ]
Attn: 1) @Ellen Fitz 2) @BipSpoon 3) @UltimaImperatrixia 4) @Brutus 5) @Stegro88 
Before stepping into the airlock of the Apache, Ida had listened to Commander Cross' plan, and she'd agreed to it - even though she suspected that like in all missions, things never went exactly according to those. She'd accepted the smoke grenades from Lieutenant Amarik, clipping a few into place along the side of her exosuit's left thigh - agreeing with the sentiment that if possible, those would have been ideal to distribute an air-bourn antidote. The Botanist, Cir'Cie, spoke next, and for those not wearing exosuits, she'd synthesised an inhibitor against the effects of the virus. It was short-lived, but in such circumstances, Ida knew every second counted - every moment of lasting resistance potentially being the margin for their survival.

Her Romulan comrade-in-arms had asked a question pertaining to whom went where once they were inside, and Ida just made a brief comment since they were tasked with getting the bay doors open and they couldn't dally. "I suggest we decide that once we're inside and know more of the tactical situation in the bay. Let's move out."

Valyn was already at the door, so Ida joined her and stepped into the airlock. She reached out to the side and manually sealed the door behind them. She then depressurised the airlock, and hit the switch which made the aft of the Apache open for them. The asteroid wasn't far... yet nor were the memories from the Niga Incident. Ida willed herself to ignore those, and reached for her wrist PADD, activating the thrusters of her exosuit. She led the way across the open expanse between the cloaked Reman gunship and the research facility's closed shuttle bay, and once they were across, she looked back at where they'd come from. She realised that visually, they must simply have materialised into existence once they crossed the cloak envelope, because she couldn't see where the Apache was any more. It was as if Amarik and her were alone, even if the rest of the away team were available on comms.

"I'll cover you," she simply said, keeping her mind on the mission, and with her hardshell boots magnetised against the frame of the bay doors, she put the stock of her rifle against her shoulder, and she was ready to raise it in case the doors opened prematurely and revealed hostiles. She was confident the other Lieutenant would be able to get the small airlock open somehow... and once she noticed the Romulan being successful, she followed her inside, turning her back against the bay doors.

The small airlock was enough for four people, and once her thrusters carried her inside, she reached for the manual controls and sealed the door Valyn had opened. While the airlock was being pressurised, Ida readied herself for whatever they might find beyond the airlock, knees bent and on the ready to take cover if needed be. There was no room for doubt, no time to contemplate that they might encounter some kind of defence turrets inside the shuttle bay, and they were about to die. They had a mission, and their assigned task was on the other side. "Let's go."

Denying the effects of adrenaline in her cobalt blood, Ida hit the seal for the airlock, and once the door hissed open, she charged in three steps - eyes along the sights of her rifle and looking for movements.

There wasn't a soul in sight.

That, given the context of the mission, would be worrying in itself, but worse yet... when she swept the bay, moving along the outer perimeter of it, she also saw that there were no shuttles present either. Whomever might be left on Azurite Station were trapped there, because the single remaining worker be - marked '01' - wasn't going to carry anyone anywhere. Especially this close to Tholian space, and with the lack of other inhabited systems within any reasonable range of light years. There was abandoned cargo sitting in the middle of the circular bay, and some to the side of it. No one has even bothered clearing the area.

Ida raised her eyes to the terrace surrounding the bay, and she could faintly make out windows there, only there were no lights. No movements. The bay operations booth was pitch black, and there was no available ladder, suggesting some kind of elevator out of sight. On the far side of the bay, emergency lighting showed a wide hallway, leading to a set of double doors that remained close. Some kind of partial power failure?

"All clear..." she said to Valyn after they had made the rounds and checked for any hidden defence systems with the tricorders they had in their wrist PADDs. She made no further comments on their findings, the situation speaking for itself. They were professionals, and there was no reason to point out what was obvious to them both. This mission wasn't going to be like they'd thought it would be. There might not even be anyone left to evacuate. "I'm reading life support being online in the immediate vicinity. The control panel is over there, if you get the bay doors open, I'll contact the Apache."

Once the Apache had landed, Ida could hear Lieutenant Conway over comms, her being asked by the Reman pilot if they'd keep the gunship cloaked, but it sounded like Conway had a good idea about that. [You can decloak her, Crewman. If we are to extract people, it's best they see where the cargo hold is at instead of running out into space... and with officers on the ground, it's not like our presence won't show up on internal sensors anyway.]

The aforementioned officers were soon filing out of the cargo hold, and Ida had her back towards them - eyes on the perimeter.

"The control panel for the bay doors had no access to the rest of the facility," she commented once Cross came within earshot, having checked already after Valyn was finished with it, "and while we'd likely have better luck with the booth up there... it doesn't look powered up. For now, our tricorders will have to lead the way to some kind of powered-up terminal, but the dampening field that kept this place off sensors is still active, so it doesn't look like we can scan very far ahead. Twenty meters, if that, judging by my own tricorder."

She knew her voice had a static to it, the helmet projecting it to the away team. Yet even to herself, she believed she sounded cold, but it had nothing to do with the shivers running up her back. They were going in blindly, and she didn't like that at all, yet her tone was that of focus on the mission objective.

To destroy the place, after extracting whatever intel they could glean from it.

OOC: We're in! Time to split people up. I suggest the following posting order next: 1) @Ellen Fitz, perhaps you have Cross split the people up into groups, with set objectives according to the overall plan? 2) @BipSpoon, you lead the way for Valyn's team into the station, wherein you can illustrate the progress. Up to you if they make contact with anyone still alive, or find any infected researchers somewhere? 3) @UltimaImperatrixia whatever team Cir'Cie is on, you illustrate the progress made by that team, and same as BipSpoon, you have creative license in setting the progress of the mission on that end. If Ida ends up in Cir'Cie's team, she leads the way with her rifle raised. 4) @Brutus, same as BipSpoon and UltimaImperatrixia , you also have creative license in setting the progress of the mission on that end. If Ida ends up in Morali's team, she leads the way with her rifle raised. 5) @Stegro88, same same as the previously mentioned. We have the most progress and fun if we push events forward, so don't have them remain in the bay. Push progress forward and I look forward to see where we're at when it's my turn to post again with Ida. If you need any input from Ida in your posts, I'll reply to your PMs. :)
Participating characters so far:

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #7
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Cargo Hold | The Apache | Azurite Station ] Attn: 1)  @BipSpoon  2) @UltimaImperatrixia  3) @Brutus  4) @Stegro88  5) @Auctor Lucan

Cross suggestions and feedback as he knew well enough that there was more than one way to crack a nut open. There was a time for open discussion and reevaluation of a situation and there was a time to shut up and put up. Until they were in it, Cross saw no reason not to solicit the feedback from his team members and respond accordingly. And so as Valyn suggested quiet infiltration over knock and load, Cross nodded his agreement; when Cir’Cie held out the hyposprays for voluntary usage, he used one himself and concurred with her assessment as well; and Sarresh’s leaning towards shoot first and ask questions later only reiterated Cross’ own feelings, while his morbid humor drew an amused smile from Cross and not glaring judgment.

But the abrupt change in the expectation of their mission environment had Cross frowning as he filed out of the Apache alongside the other team members. No shuttles, no appearances of any station crew, abandoned cargo crates, emergency lighting fighting against utter darkness, and a prevailing feeling of ominous abandonment: it all led Cross to the feeling that this was some kind of setup. Of course, appearances could be exactly what they were, and yet, the Infested had always relished ambush and mayhem, and luring them to the station for something like this wouldn’t be beyond their capabilities.

Nodding to the Deputy, Cross turned to face the rest of the team members, though he kept an ever-present watch on the perimeter with his peripherals, even while trusting the Deputy and Valyn to cover their asses. He hadn't survived this far without keeping his guard up even with professional team members at his side. His gaze traveling over each away team member, Cross delegated duties and assigned teams in accordance to the change in mission expectation.

“Lieutenant Conway, Crewman Vansen, and Chief Manfredi will stay with the Apache. I want to get out of here at a moment’s notice if things go south. I also want you to explore these crates of cargo in the bay, see what’s in them, and take anything of note that could prove useful.” Cross frowned as he added to the group. “And let’s all go ahead and expect things to go south and keep on our toes accordingly.” Waiting for nods of confirmation, Cross moved his attention to the next group. “Deputy zh’Wann and Ensign Smith will accompany Ensign Cir’Cie, Crewman Jenson, and Dr. Hernandez to find samples of the virus, its mutations, crew DNA samples, botanical specimens of note, anything, and the kitchen sink, that looks to be useful in combating the Niga virus or the Infested. To assist in this, Lieutenant Morali, Crewman Samala, and I will find a powered console to hack to download data from, and see if we can get some of these systems back up and running so we can find things faster.” Finally moving on to the last group, Cross hid his smile. He hadn’t worked with Amarik personally, but her reputation preceded her and he rather assumed she’d enjoy the job he was assigning her. “Lieutenant Amarik, take Ensign Garret, Crewman Hughes, and Crewman Tucker, sweep the station for survivors, or Infested, lay charges, and see if you can find anything of note before reporting back to the ship.

Cross took one last look at the group as a whole. He knew well enough the likelihood of a trap and that a certain percentage of those he looked at could very likely not make it back to the ship. He trusted the group to know their shit and not lay down arms at the first sign of a fight, and though he wasn’t a praying man himself, so soon after the losses of the last mission, he felt almost tempted to pray to something or someone that this mission could be one of the first that didn’t end in the death of a fellow crewmember.

“Let’s make this quick and effective. Use your tricorders to map your steps, keep in contact, and don’t get separated from the group.” Cross nodded once more before adding. “And the order to shoot first, stun setting, still stands. We can explain ourselves to innocent bystanders later.”

I went ahead and named the NPCs with mostly current NPCs, save for two new Ensigns Smith and Garret, both of whom are security. Vansen, Hughes, and Tucker are security. Manfredi is Engineering and Jensen science. I can change any of these things or all of these things if ye like, just let me know and I'll use the magic edit button.
Lieutenant Enyd Isolde Madsen, Assistant Chief Diplomatic Officer

Lieutenant Commander Cross, Chief Tactical Officer

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #8
[ Lieutenant Valyn Amarak | Azurite Station ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz @UltimaImperatrixia @Brutus @Stegro88 @Auctor Lucan  [Show/Hide]
Valyn glanced at the hypospray as Cir’Cie produced it and her eyes went wide. The exact opposite of an aphrodisiac. Starfleet ingenuity really never failed to impress. “A libido inhibitor?” She furrowed her brows, thinking long and hard about that. While she was by no means actively seeing anyone, nor sleeping with anyone, the concept of a life without orgasm still hung in the distance, like some terrible dark cloud of doom. She drew her lower lip between her teeth momentarily before she looked among the others.

“So we have three minutes to get within range of one another so we can get dropped, before we start droolin’ over anythin’ that walks?” She grimaced. That was one hell of a narrow window. Her hazel eyes traced their way back to the hypospray, looming before her. “It’s temporary right? Apologize for the oversharin’ but, I’d very much like to keep my ability and desire to-” She brought her fingertips together, and mouthed ‘pow’ before splaying her fingers out and separating her palms, miming a firework explosion. Despite the question though, she did turn her neck to the side to allow herself to be inoculated. 

Once done, she pushed herself out of the airlock, giving zh’Wann a nod of agreement. Once they breached the gate so to speak, they’d have a more clear picture of what they were facing. Once she felt the unnatural loss of gravity hit her, she fired the booster in her boots once, aiming at exactly where she wanted to go. Avoiding detection was paramount at that moment, and she had no idea if they’d be able to pick up the small energy reading from their boots, so she kept it short and simple. When the gunship vanished, she swallowed. Though logically she knew that her allies were right there if they were was vast. It was empty. It was lonely. It was dark. Just her and zh’Wann, coasting through the infinite abyss towards a station they knew shockingly little about.

“Got it.” She magnetized her boots and crouched near the airlock. “Accident…” She muttered, staring at the innards of the panel as she tore the bulkhead free. The locking mechanism was far more complicated than she’d initially hoped for. “Mother-” She muttered, peeling back a small array of multicolored fibers that likely controlled the power to the door. She glanced over her shoulder, to some of the fragments of the asteroid in the immediate vicinity, and then smirked. “Got it.” While she’d planned to try and hack her way in, the far easier answer was one that would look far more accidental to any wandering suspicions contained within the hulking rock they were about to breach. She deactivated the mag-boot on the right side as she simultaneously drew out a laser scalpel. As she dropped the foot as quickly as she could, she snipped a single wire, and the door began to slide open, eerily silent in the vacuum of space.

“Snipped the sensor. They’ll know the door was opened but they aren’t gonna have a clue why. If anyone tries to look it’ll look like rock smashed into the wires.” She tapped the mag control on her hip, her boot sealing itself to the deck. “They’d have to come out here and look to get a better idea, and by then I wager we’ll be long gone.” When they entered, she posted up, covering the airlock entrance...just in case.

The moment the door opened, she wrapped her finger around the trigger...and her stomach dropped. She followed in behind Ida, shoulders and rifle on a swivel as she surveyed the hauntingly barren bay. She turned her rifle towards the ceiling and still...nothing.

“What the fuck?” She glanced at Ida before she pressed forward, forming a line with the Andorian. She shook her head before she lowered her rifle, but only slightly, and made her way to the control panel. Opening the bay door was far easier than the airlock, it was a single teal button. She pressed her finger to it, and the bay door began to split open, this time with a far louder screech, the metal scraping against itself. She shot up, and aimed her rifle deeper into the bay.

Once she’d received her assignment, she gathered her squad. “Stay on me. Don’t wander. Three minutes is cutting it a bit close for me. One of us gets infected, drop included.” She looked between each of the junior officers and enlisted assigned to her and let out a deep breath. “Tucker, take the charges and cover left. Hughes, take up the rear. Garret, take right. Stay in a diamond and maintain six feet of distance. Someone shoots at us we need to be able to scatter, not trip over one another. Questions?” She glanced between them each, and received nothing but shaking heads. “Like the commander said. Shoot first, ask questions later. Stun unless you need to kick it up a notch.”

Her team pressed forward.

They first moved down a hallway. It was dark. Barren. Devoid of life. There was the occasional conduit that had burst from lack of maintenance, a light shower of sparks lighting the way, but besides that...there was nothing. Their tricorders ran on a constant scan, but still...nothing. Not for at least a hundred yards from the bay. They found a sealed door, and for only a moment...there was a blip of something on the scan. Only however, for a split second. Then, it vanished.

Behind the door, there was a clatter.

“What the hell was that?” Hughes offered, looking at Amarik, then to the others.

“Eyes on your sector. Tucker, you do not get into trouble, got it? We lose you, we lose the charges if we need to run. Hughes, open it manually.” She posted up in front of the door. Moments later, the door began to open, slowly. Each pump of the lever that hughes produced, inched it further open. What was inside however, made Valyn stop in her tracks. The room was enveloped in a dim, blue light. There were several bodies in the corners, split from end to end with fungus and strange spores pouring from their open body cavity. In the center of the junction they’d uncovered, were two individuals. Two individuals who were in the throws, with the tattered remains of Starfleet uniforms draped over their intertwined bodies. “What in the-” She muttered, and both of their attention shifted to the door.

“Oh shit.” She dove forward into the chamber. “Cover!” She screamed, and immediately began to offer covering fire of her own. “This is Amarik, we already have contact!” She called over the comms, voice staticy and interlaced with the telltale sound of weapons fire. One of them fell quickly. The other was much faster. He was a Vulcan male, and he looked to be in a blood fury. He charged Valyn at top speed, and slammed a fist against her rifle, sending it skittering across the floor. The fire from her own comrades had ceased. She and the Vulcan were too close, and dancing around one anothers touch. “Just fucking shoot!” She shouted, as he ducked. A single shot rang out, and he fell. The bolt had flown directly over Valyn’s head and intersected with the tall Vulcans throat. In the doorway, Hughes stood with a smoking rifle...and was shaking.

“I-I-I-” Hughes stammered for a moment, “I got him. I didn’t shoot you did I?” He swallowed and lowered the rifle slowly.

In response, Valyn shook her head and began to approach her team.

As she moved within feet of them though, there was another figure in the junction. This one, fully clothed but she was laughing...maniacally. Slowly, Valyn turned her head. The instant she locked eyes on the charged.

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #9
[ Ensign Cir'Cie | Azurite Station ]

Not wanting to take any chances in this excursion, Cir'Cie had come equipped with a standard filtration and breathing mask which she deftly took forth from her expedition satchel. She also had her Syringe Gun ready - this time fully loaded with Selenium, ready to kill any given segment of the Niga Plant, and hopefully the rest of it...that is if she could stave off desires already dormant within her mind.

No; she would not allow herself to be raped and controlled again. This time she was the Master.

Stepping out from the Apache with her other team members, she would look towards the direction of Valyn and Ida, the light upon her mask piercing through the darkness to a degree, dust streaming through the beam.

All she could do was put trust in her team members to get them through whatever was hiding in the darkness and to their objective - with all the research she had been able to memorize from under Zephyr's notes and her own findings, Cir'Cie felt confident that they could deal with the Niga, providing they all kept their cool. Logically speaking though, she knew that at least one of them would crack and give into the promise of sex. Be it due to the need for stress relieve, a lack of impulse control or an extremely potent libido, that risk of losing all control excited her to the core... but being dead in exchange for a few short and intense moments of pleasure was extremely low on her list of priorities and her long term agenda.

Upon exiting the Apache and drawing her Type 2 Phaser, she would quietly follow the others - watching Tucker and Garret follow after Valyn so that they might carry out their orders. Hanging back, she couldn't help but feel slightly useless in the current situation, more an objective to escort to the goal of the mission rather than an individual with her own skills to apply at the current moment.

That was when she remembered she wasn't alone this time. She may have been used to doing things her way and on her own time within the safe confines of the Theurgy's Hydroponics Lab. But this time she was not alone. With Jenson and Hernandez by her side, they should be able to use their combined skills together to tackle whatever flora and viral based threats they may encounter... in theory at least. With how high tensions had been as of late, the idea of succumbing to sexual abandon was a tempting thought as ever.

With a distinct 'ahem' sound emanating from her throat to clear it - Cir'Cie would draw her Mark IX Tricorder, especially modified for her research and encounters with the plant that had interwoven itself into her life. She would briefly glance at the tattoo that was partially visible across her wrist - the green vines with purple flowers that Chief Herrold had given her some time go. Emitting a heavy exhale, Cir'Cie's jade gaze would turn over to Lieutenant zh'Wann. "Let us proceed." she would state, gesturing to the other scientists to follow her lead, but not to proceed ahead of Ida.

"I know we were given specific orders to find virus and flora samples, as well as note any changes within the aforementioned subjects of interest. But I feel that finding the security center or another means of accessing defenses or force field control of some kind might prove pertinent. It would allow us to safely traverse the rest of the station or provide an adequate defense should the Niga choose to go on the offensive... Lieutenant zh'Wann. What do you make of this suggestion?" Cir'Cie felt it was the logical and cautious thing to do, but if the Andorian protector had other ideas, she would comply with her counterpoints.
Ubi Concordia, Ibi Victoria.

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #10
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Cargo Hold | The Apache | Approach Vector: Azurite Station] ] Attn: @Stegro88 @Auctor Lucan @Ellen Fitz @BipSpoon @UltimaImperatrixia 


Finding the landing bay almost completely devoid of ships raised the hackles on the back of Sarresh's neck. It wasn't just that the feeling of walking into a trap had surfaced. More so it was the worry that those whom had clearly fled the station had been infected. If that sort of breach had happened, containing the potential spread of the Niga virus to the rest of the Federation and the powers bordering it had just grown an order of magnitude in difficulty. Of course, that presumed that those whom left were indeed infected. That need not necessarily be the case. But given his luck, the time traveler had to fight hard not to assume the worst, and the worst left an acrid, sour taste in the back of his mouth.

Devoting his attention to the assignment breakdown, Sarresh frowned slightly, looking from Cross to the crewman who had been their primary pilot (and ship co-owner) and back, wondering which of them was an A-7 computer expert and would be really in charge of breaking any encrypted data. He had a suspicion it was just him.

Morali toed at one of the overturned cargo containers, its contents spilled out across the floor. Nothing terribly useful in the immediate, but he supposed there might be something worth salvaging and taking back to the Theurgy. A ship on the run couldn't turn its nose up at supplies, even if they were being kitted out by the best Qo'noS had to offer at the moment. "Might be worth going over all the stuff here with whatever your strongest industrial strength cleaning agent is, just in case." He saw a few confused looks and frowned. "Just because we expect the virus not to linger inside a canister or something like that doesn't mean it hasn't mutated. Be cautious is all I'm suggesting. Bio hazard protocols in full effect."

Conway looked like she might not be keen on the extra effort, but the biohazard protocol made sense. Sarresh couldn't order the Ops officer in charge of the shuttle team to do it - they had the same rank and relative seniority - but he made the pitch anyway and she didn't seem inclined to argue so he didn't have to turn to look at Cross to make it official. That was good enough for him. He had no issue with Yvette Conway one way or another, and presumed it was mutual. 

That settled, he marched over to Samala and Cross, still carrying his rifle so that the barrel lay in the crook of his left arm, like a seasoned combat veteran and not some pencil pushing lab rat. "Closest consoles seem to be dead, Commander," he noted dryly, with a sweep of one hand, trusting the shoulder strap to keep the rifle in place. "Including the one up in the control bay, judging by the lack of lighting coming out of that alcove. We've got multiple exits out of here, I suppose it goes without saying that we pick whatever door the other teams ignore to cover more ground."

Apparently he felt like stating the obvious, as this was what the trio ended up doing. 

Moving down one of the numerous corridors that fed into the main shuttle bay, Sarresh's odd eyes gleamed and swirled in the red emergency lighting, giving them a back-lit appearance that almost glowed. He found it comforting, but he had no idea how the others with him took the oddity of his otherwise human appearance. A touch stone to what he had been, gifted to him by the actions of V-Nine. He wondered when she would be fully repaired, having read the after action report from the mess that had unfolded on Qo'noS. 

Setting aside that thought, Sarresh turned and found himself looking down a long, dark corridor, nondescript in every way. Broken paneling scattered down the red toned hallway, looking as if someone had run along its length, smashing their way along in an effort to make any sort of computer access as difficult as possible. Not to mention create a treacherous path for anyone caught barefoot. Thankfully, Sarresh didn't have to worry about that. In his former form, he often eschewed footwear, but as a human, he found his feet entirely too delicate for such actions. Up ahead he could just make out what looked to be a door, opening and closing at the end of the passage. The tell-tale hiss, in and out, was the only sound he picked up. Narrowing his eyes, he noted a foot sticking out of the door, un-moving. 

"Body ahead. Or well, boot, but I think I see a bit of pant leg too." he gestured with his rifle as he spoke, his voice barely a whisper. Checking his tricorder her founded. "Indistinct life form readings ahead as well. Can't tell if its the leg or...something in the room. Be careful." More stating the obvious...The closer they got however, the warmer the air became. But from that ever shutting and opening door, Sarresh could see a promising glow of light that was not tinged with the emergency red. The humidity caused a sweat to break out across his tanned features, and that brought a frown to his face. 

"Which one of you grabbed the herbicide?" It was, of course, at this point that the comms broke open with the frantic warning that contact with the infected had been made.

OOC: hopefully that sets an ominous enough note. Apologies on the delay: back to back crisis at work related to AWS and then log4j sapped my writing time. On vacation now and looking to catch up.

Re: Day 01 [2045 hrs.] Resident Niga: Azurite Station

Reply #11
[ CM3 Samala | Passageway | Azurite Station | Federation Space ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Ellen Fitz @BipSpoon @UltimaImperatrixia @Brutus

“Three-being team operating independently. Unit commanding officer, a science officer and a crewman; me. It’s like a terrible Terran holonovel,” Samala mused as she moved along with Commander Cross and Lieutenant Morali. “I don’t have nearly enough weapons to make myself feel comfortable. Besides this rifle, which isn’t even lethal, and a phaser, I only have my knife, and even that is technically against protocol. But fuck coming along on some secret away mission without a knife.”

Reaching out with her mind, Samala tried to identify any minds that might belong to those who should be manning this station. But all she got was... the best she could describe it was haze. She could feel minds, but she couldn’t tell where they were. They weren’t alone though. Their progress was slow, the broken panelling and low light levels making them pick their way along corridors and passages. The other thing that was odd to the hybrid, and she wasn’t sure if the others had noticed it or not, was the smell. She had expected the stale air that lingered once life support was disabled, or at least the crisp recycled air when it was functioning. But what she smelt was neither. It was sweeter, yet subtle too. She found herself curious about what could be causing it and was indeed about to ask when Morali announced that there was a body ahead.

Focusing ahead, Samala tried to push the scent from her mind, but it lingered at the edge, needling her to come and find what was creating it. Her telepathy was just as clear as Morali’s tricorder about what was beyond the oscillating door. Pulling ahead, telling herself it was to protect those with her and not about following the scent, Samala broke into a sweat as the humidity rose. There was light beyond the door, which promised some sort of power that might indicate an accessible control panel. Reaching the door first, she heard Morali ask about the herbicide but paid it no mind as she moved up to the body and hitting the door controls to open the door. 

“I’ll clear the room,” she announced as she entered the room, rifle at the ready, confident that the officers could handle one body. And if she needed help, they’d be right at the door.

Inside, Samala had to skirt around a wall before she entered the main area, which turned out to be some sort of hydroponics or botany lab. The humidity was intense, and her uniform was soon damp as it sucked in the moisture from the air and sweat from her skin. And the smell. The weak scent she had noticed outside was much stronger in here. Almost overwhelmingly so and she shook her head to clear scatter thoughts to focus on her task. But it wasn’t enough.

Moving forward, she came to the first aisle and found another body, a Terran male by the size and shape, lying face down on the deck. And the curious part about him was his complete lack of clothes. There wasn’t a stitch on him.

“I have another body in here,” Samala called out before moving on, her mind distracted by thoughts of the nude male and what had caused it. Stray thoughts about rolling him over and examining him flirted through her mind but she forced herself to focus, to draw on the training she had undergone to learn to close her mind. It helped, if only a little, and the pilot continued. The room’s aroma grew stronger, and Samala soon found herself barely able to concentrate as she walked, her rifle drooping as she used one of her hands to undo her uniform tunic to try and give herself some respite from the humidity.

Turning the corner of the racks, Samala was confronted by the most intense, and mystifying sight she had ever seen. There on the deck at the end of the room, were 5 Terrans, 3 females and 2 males, naked as the day they were born. If they saw her, they paid her no heed, enraptured as they were with each other's body’s. The hybrid was no unwise in what she was seeing, though neither was she personally experienced in it either, but what was before her was not something she had ever thought about.

The room’s air grew tight and heavy, and Samala found herself losing her train of thought. The only thing occupying her mind was going forward and joining the throng of Terrans, to finally experience the pleasures of the flesh she had heard about but never experienced. Her rifle clattered to the deck discarded and she reached for her tunic. Her hand brushed her combadge and a part of her told her that she should report this. Moving forward, like a predator stalking her prey, Samala tapped her combadge even as she began to remove her jacket.

“Sir, there...are...people....” Further speech did not come forth as Samala focused on the undulating knot before her, her tunic falling to the deck behind her.

Simple Audio Video Embedder